Teresa Norton:

… I define person’s status as his or her estimation of self worth rather than the estimation placed on that person by others. It is a personal and internal judgment and as such is completely-self controlled — nobody can ‘make’ you feel unimportant. They can certainly ‘act’ in ways that are either consciously or unconsciously designed to ‘raise’ their own status but only you can lower your own status.</p>

Teresa’s article is about the utility in forgiveness, but the wisdom in the paragraph above echoes beyond that.

It frustrates me that so many people allow their boss or company to become their parents. It's just sad—and often to the detriment of the company—that people learn to ask for permission for so many things.

Even though your company may have a culture that nurtures your innate desire to be provided for, it’s not the company’s fault that you let it happen. Or that you interpret the actions of your company and coworkers in a way that makes you feel incapable of independent ideas.

Independence is something that most people associate with entrepreneurship or owning your own business. But it’s really just a side effect of those things. Working in your boxers and paying quarterly taxes aren’t prerequisites for independence.

Being independent and having a sense of self-worth are entirely states of mind. You can choose to live in those free states, or you can choose to build a jail for yourself, appoint a warden, and toss them the keys.